Game Report: Brewers 5, Cardinals 3

By Rob Rains

On the night after they were knocked out of the playoff race, the Cardinals fielded a lineup made up mostly of members of this year’s Pacific Coast League champion Memphis Redbirds on Friday night at Busch Stadium.

Seven of the nine starters played at Memphis this season and an eighth, Jose Martinez, was briefly on the Memphis roster but did not appear in a game. The only player in the lineup who did not play at Memphis was Greg Garcia, who started at second base.

John Gant made his second start on the mound since coming up from Memphis and pitched into the sixth inning, but was charged with four of Milwaukee’s runs as the Brewers stayed alive in the NL wild-card race – barely – as they remained two games behind the Rockies with two to play.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate:

The Cardinals were limited to one run through the first eight innings, a home run by Paul DeJong in the fourth, his 25th of the season … That was one of just six hits by the Cardinals, and DeJong had two of the other four, singles in the seventh and ninth. His single in the ninth was followed by a two-run homer by Martinez, his 14th of the year … The only other hits by the Cardinals were a leadoff single by Greg Garcia in the first and an infield single by Carson Kelly in the eighth.

On the mound: Gant gave up runs in the second and fourth innings, both driven in by Stephen Vogt, who homered in the fourth. Gant left after allowing the first two batters to reach in the sixth, and both scored off reliever Josh Lucas … The Brewers added their final run in the ninth against Sandy Alcantara.

Key stat: DeJong’s homer was his 20th of the year as a shortstop, just one home run shy of tying the Cardinals’ record for most home runs hit by a shortstop. Jhonny Peralta set the record of 21 in 2014. DeJong is now tied with Cal Ripken Jr. for eighth place for the most home runs hit in the majors by a rookie while playing shortstop.

Worth noting: Alex Reyes threw his first bullpen session before the game since undergoing Tommy John surgery in February. He threw 20 fastballs and was happy with how his arm felt. Reyes said he intends to spend most of this winter in Jupiter, Fla., getting ready for next season … With the Cardinals eliminated from the playoffs, the team has shut down Matt Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Tyler Lyons for the final games, all suffering from a variety of injuries.

Looking ahead: Luke Weaver will make his final start of the season in Saturday’s game, which is set to begin at 3:15 p.m.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains